zondag 22 juni 2014

F1 2014 GP of Austria review

Sorry that I`m putting this down to the typed paper a few hours later, but the Belgian national squad has just placed itself for the second round onf the World Cup with a 6 out of 6.

Well, so this time we find ourselves on the Red Bull circuit in Austria, for the Red Bull home grand prix.  Will the team of Mateschitz and Horner pull through the line of Canada?

Well... not if we have to go by the qualies, where they are nowhere, Vettel not even making the top 10.  Stranded on a 12th place, the big suprise however is on the first row.  A Williams lock out, having swept away the Mercedes cars for a lock out, and Massa claiming his 16th pole of the season, while Hamilton is only 9th on the grid.

The Start: Rosberg immediatly passes Bottas but is retaken in a few corners time by the most beautiful car in case of livery on the grid.  Hamilton makes a rocket start, and is in 5th position by turn 2, and before the first lap is over he passes Alonso to get to 4th.

Lap 2: Vettel loses drive power and chockles over the track, being lapped by the whole field.  With Ricciardo having a terrible start and in 9th, it doesn`t seem likely this is going to be a home party for Red Bull.

Lap 4: Vettel gains his power back, but he and Riccardio are told not to use the "overtake" button again during the race, meaning there are ERS issues on the RB10s

Lap 6: Both Williams and both Mercedes start pulling away from the field.

Lap 10: As Vettel is the first to pit, the expected two stop strategies start to take place.

Lap 12: Of the four leaders, Rosberg is the first to pit, followed by Hamilton.  However, Rosberg retains his position.

Lap 14: As both Williams pit, they lose their position in the lead and put Rosberg in front virtually, after Perez who still tours around not having pitted yet.

Lap 20: Gutteriez, who was unsafely released in the pits due to a not connected right back tyre, gets a stop and go penalty.

Lap 22: Vettel pits a second time as he has damaged his front wing driving into the rear end of Gutterriez.

Lap 26: Brakes failing, Kvyat hits the wall and has to retire his three wheeled car.

Lap 27: Rosberg and Bottas now pass Perez for the lead, but in the meantime Bianchi is driving in a 13th place.  Marussia really has closed the gap to the lower midfield with Lotus and Sauber, Caterham barely hanging on to them.

Lap 28: Hamilton now also goes by perez, putting Massa behind the guy that put him in the wall in Montreal two weeks ago, but luckily the mexican pits two rounds later.

Lap 34: Bottas now loses the DRS gap to Rosberg who starts pulling away.

Lap 36: Vettel is called in as Red Bull decides to retire his car from the race.  The black period for the reigning world champion keeps going on, but if it is any consolidation, Ricciardo is barely holding on to some points today.

Lap 38: Clearly better on the prime tyres then the Williams cars, bith Mercedes are upping their pace as they prepare their second pitstop.

Lap 40 - 44: One by one the leaders come in, but the positions remain virtually unchanged

Lap 45-48: A Ferrari leading a GP in 2014!!!!  Okay, so Alonso still has to pit, but it has a certain flair to finally see a Red Horse leading.

Lap 51: Kobayashi has gotten past Bianchi, now riding around in 16th but getting a minor win in the battle of the little ones.

Lap 54: Quote of the Day is given by Raikonnen.  When his engineer asks for 2 tenths extra per lap, he dryly replies `gladly, if you gave me more power`

Lap 56: The long stinters, starting with Perez, now have to come in, dropping him back a bit, but soon after he puts in the fastest lap.

Lap 61: Just like his team mate, Vergne comes in and retires due to brake issues on his Toro Rosso.

Lap 62: Alonso has even crept into the DRS zone of the Williams of Massa, but he will run out of time to place an attack as the Williams has a far higher topspeed compared to the driving skill of Fernando who makes his position by excellent cornering... on a circuit with barely any heavy corners and long straight lines.

Lap 66: Perez passes Magnussen for 6th as both Mercedes cars seem to be making themselves ready for a finale fight...

Lap 71: ... but Hamilton decides not to take to big a risk, and so Rosberg takes the win before Lewis

And we get to the end of a highly boring race on a circuit that is only intresting for it`s big nature views imho.  Hopefully, in two weeks in Silverstone, the `cradle of F1`, it`ll be a bit more exciting.

The Result

1. Rosberg - Mercedes
2. Hamilton - Mercedes
3. Bottas - Williams Mercedes

4. Massa - Williams Mercedes
5. Alonso - Ferrari
6. Perez - Force India Mercedes
7. Magnussen - McLaren Mercedes
8. Ricciardo - Red Bull Renault
9. Hulkenberg - Force India Mercedes
10. Raikonnen - Ferrari

11. Button - McLaren Mercedes
12. Maldonado - Lotus Renault
13. Sutil - Sauber Ferrari
14. Grosjean - Lotus Renault
15. Bianchi - Marussia Ferrari
16. Kobayashi - Caterham Renault
17. Chilton - Marussia Ferrari
18. Ericsson - Caterham Renault
19. Guterriez - Sauber Ferrari

All Mercedes what is it about, the only Mercedes powered car to not score points today was Jenson Button. 

Driver of the race:

Lewis Hamilton; started 9th, used his head in the closing stages, came home 2nd

Team of the Race:

In any other race, I would have put Williams here with their solid points and podium, but the truth is, Mercedes deserves this.
After not winning in Canada and not being on the front row in this GP, people already where saying their dominance was over, that their armour cracked... in the best case, there is a small scrape on it, but they shined like they have been doing all season.

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